While some arts and culture centers remain closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, others are working to offer new shows and new art exhibitions in Arizona as safely as possible.
Theaters including the Herberger Theater Center have taken their stages outside. With socially distant seating, the theater will present three new concerts from a series that was postponed earlier in the year. Meanwhile, museums such as the Phoenix Art Museum, Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art and Mesa Arts Center have new exhibitions with safety considerations due to the ongoing pandemic in place.
One highlight in March is the work of playwright Elaine Romero will be celebrated by 14 theater companies across the nation. Romero is Arizona Theatre Company’s playwright-in-residence and five theaters in Arizona will be participating.
“Love is the entry point for every story I tell,” Romero said in a press release.
“I fall in love with a character, an act of justice, a turn in a story, a poetic expression or structure. I fall in love with characters who don’t see their flaws—that are so obvious to us—their audience. I fall in love with human frailty, with imperfection, with the glory and limits of human language. I fall in love with physical movements, design elements, and theatrical moments that transcend words.”
Here are some of the many March art events happening in metro Phoenix in person or online.
Phoenix Art Detour: What to know about the 33-day celebration
Arizona Theatre Company
RomeroFest celebrates the work of Arizona Theater Company’s playwright-in-residence, Elaine Romero. Throughout the entire month theater companies across the nation will perform Romero’s plays and monologues, most are virtual.
Five theaters in Arizona will participate, including Arizona Theatre Company, Winding Road Theater Ensemble in Tucson, Scoundrel & Scamp Theatre in Tucson, Tempe theater company Childsplay and Phoenix theater company Bridge Initiative.
Details: 602-256-6995, for show dates and time visit, arizonatheatre.org.
Phoenix Art Museum
The downtown Phoenix Art Museum and FilmBar have come together to present films in the museum’s garden. March’s featured film is “A Hard Day’s Night” which captures the moments The Beatles became idols of their generation. Show starts at 7 p.m. March 11, 12 and 13. Tickets are $12 for members, $15 for the general public.
In celebration of International Women’s Day on March 8, the museum will present a virtual screening of “Pat Steir: Artist” by filmmaker — and Steir’s friend— Veronica Gonzalez Peña. The film provides an intimate look at the life of artist Pat Steir, a key figure in the development of Conceptual Abstraction. The viewing will be followed by a live Q&A with Gonzalez Peña. The screening begins at 6 p.m.
Starting March 10 is “Ann Morton: The Violet Protest” which features the work of Morton, the 2019 Arlene and Morton Scult Artist Award winner. Morton’s work uses traditional fiber techniques as conceptual tools to examine society. In addition, the 2019 Phoenix Art Museum Artists’ Grants Recipients exhibition explore political divides in the United States.
Details: 602-257-1880, tickets.phxart.org.
Herberger Theater Center
A concert series kicks off at the Herberger Theater’s outdoor theater. Arizona band The Stakes will play March 25, Phoenix Afrobeat Orchestra will perform on March 26 and one-woman orchestra, HÄANA, plays March 27. Masks are required.
Details: Herberger Theater, 222 E. Monroe St. Phoenix. $25-$27. 602-254-7399, herbergertheater.org
Arizona State University Art Museum
British artists Vicky Isley and Paul Smith have collaborated with science institutions over the past decade to create video installations that explore how large scale environmental changes have altered disease transmission.
The exhibition, “Restless Balance: boredomresearch” is also the U.S. premiere of the video, “In Search of Chemozoa,” along with three earlier works that include animated robots navigating Venice’s polluted canals, flight patterns of mosquitos carrying malaria and intertidal snails adjusting to changed coastal conditions. Exhibition runs through April 24.
Details: ASU Art Museum, 51 E. 10th St, Tempe. 480-965-2787, asuartmuseum.asu.edu.
Fountain Hills Theater
Hear the music of Neil Diamond on Fountain Hills Theater’s outdoor stage. “A Beautiful Noise – The Music of Neil Diamond” plays March 12 through April 11. From “I’m a Believer,” “Sweet Caroline” to “You Don’t Bring Me Flowers,” performances include artists Elizabeth Bridgewater, Lacey Dixon, Brianne Gobeski, Alex Gonzalez and more. Masks are required.
Details: 7:30 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays, 2 p.m. on Sundays. Fountain Hills Theater, 11445 N. Saguaro Blvd., Fountain Hills. $18-$35. 480-837-9661, fhtaz.org.
New on display at the downtown Phoenix Heard Museum is the exhibition “Hiding in Plain Sight” with works by painter Leon Polk Smith. The show features more than 80 works of art and takes place through May 31.
Details: Heard Museum, 2301 N. Central Ave, Phoenix. 602-252-8840, heard.org.
Mesa Arts Center
Arizona artist Alexandra Bowers is known for her intricate nature-inspired pyrography (burned wood), watercolor and wax-pigment colored drawings. Her latest installation “A Murmuration of Found Feathers in Flight” will be on display at the Mesa Arts Center through April 4.
See the solo exhibition by Arizona printmaker Harold Lohner through April 18. Lohner creates life-size images of human figures and faces in a series of monoprints and artist books.
Also through April 18 is the Mesa Contemporary Arts Museum’s Annual Contemporary Crafts exhibition. Included are examples of ceramics, fibers, basketry, metals, wood, glass, jewelry, papermaking and book arts totaling 46 works by 30 artists, representing 11 states.
Details: Mesa Arts Center, 1 E. Main St., Mesa. 480-644-6500, mesaartscenter.com.
Musical Instrument Museum
The Musical Instrument Museum has extended its exhibition “Congo Masks and Music: Masterpieces from Central Africa” until September. The 170-piece collection displays instruments such as whistles, harps and xylophones as well as ceremonial masks, presented both alone and with mannequins in full costumes that date from the late 1800s to the early 1900s.
Details: Musical Instrument Museum, 4725 E. Mayo Blvd., Phoenix. 480-478-6000, mim.org.
Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art
Enjoy “Ark of Bulrushes” featuring works from Texas artist, Diedrick Brackens. Best known for his vibrant woven tapestries that tell the stories of being Black and gay, Brackens’ artwork will be on display at SMoCA through Aug. 22.
London-based artist Zineb Sedira has created a new iteration for SMoCA of “Standing Here Wondering Which Way to Go” an installation first shown at the Jeu de Paume in Paris in 2019. Sedira is known for her photographs and video installations which will also be on display in Sedira’s solo exhibition “VOICE-OVER.” The show runs through Sept. 5.
Details: Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art, 7374 E. 2nd St., Scottsdale. 480-874-4666. smoca.org.
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